Construction Law

Best Practice in Construction LawFollowing a long career as a construction lawyer in Australia, the UK and the US, it was natural that Professor Gerber would want to marry her practical construction law background with scholarly theoretical explorations of construction law, and in particular, the avoidance, management and resolution of construction disputes.

Professor Gerber has been at the forefront of many initiatives to advance construction law and the construction industry. For example, in 1995, she established the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in Australia, modelled on an organisation of the same name in the United States. NAWIC is about attracting more women into the construction industry and reducing the high attrition rate of women from this still macho industry. Twenty years later, Professor Gerber continues to be patron of this thriving national association.

At the beginning of 2000, Professor Gerber left private practice to establish a specialist graduate program in construction law at the University of Melbourne inspired by the masters in construction law that she had completed at King’s College in London. It continues to be the only specialist construction law program in Australia, and Professor Gerber regularly returns to give guest lectures.

When working as an attorney in LA in the 1990s, Professor Gerber became aware of dispute avoidance processes (DAPs) as a tool to help parties on major construction projects minimise the risk of disputes and quickly resolve any that did arise. The most popular DAP is a dispute resolution board (DRB), with well over 2000 projects being successfully completed with no outstanding disputes, thanks to the use of DRBs. Upon returning to Australia, Professor Gerber began advocating for the use of DRBs in this country. She has published numerous articles about DRBs and, along with her former student Brennan Ong, set up DAPs Australia as a ready source of information about how to successfully use a DRB.

Professor Gerber’s book Best Practice in Construction Disputes: Avoidance, Management and Resolution was finalist in the prestigious LexisNexis Centenary Book Award and has received wide critical acclaim (see book reviews). It is also a prescribed text in university construction law courses.

Publications and Conference Papers

Book

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong Best Practice in Construction Disputes: Avoidance, Management and Resolution (2013) LexisNexis, Sydney [Finalist in the Centenary Book Award]. Click here to see book reviews.

Book Chapters

Paula Gerber and Brendan McCarthy ‘Construction’ in Australasian Dispute Resolution Service (2011) Thomson Reuters loose leaf service, Sydney, {Updated in 2014}.

Paula Gerber ‘Dispute Avoidance, Management and Resolution’ in Ian Bailey and Matthew Bell, Matthew (eds) Construction Law in Australia (3rd ed, 2011) Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 301-315.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Matthew Bell, Paula Gerber and Phil Evans ‘Building Bridges in the Classroom: A view from the Academy’ (2014) 30(1) Building and Construction Law Journal 24-34.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘Look before you Leap: Avoiding the Traps and Maximising the Benefits of Your DRB’ (2012) 28(4) Construction Law Journal 310-337.

Thomas Denehy and Paula Gerber ‘What Constitutes World’s Best Practice for Dispute Avoidance in Standard Form Contracts?’ (2012) 28(4) Building and Construction Law Journal 266-281.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘Should DAPs be Included in Standard Form Contracts?’ (2012) 143 Australian Construction Law Newsletter 6-20.

Paula Gerber ‘Alliances and Dispute Review Boards: Best Friends or Worst Enemies?’ (2012) 10(1) Australian Journal of Civil Engineering 57-66.

Brennan Ong and Paula Gerber ‘Dispute Avoidance Processes (DAPs) In Australia—Bringing The Future Into The Present’ (2011) 141 Australian Construction Law Newsletter 51-59.

Paula Gerber and Diana Serra ‘Construction Litigation: Are we doing it Better?’ (2011) 35(3) Melbourne University Law Review 933-970.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘Feeling Combative? Let’s Dance: Dispute Avoidance Processes’ (2011) 85(12) Law Institute Journal 32.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘21 Today!: Dispute Review Boards in Australia: Past, Present and Future’ (2011) 22(3) Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 180-191.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘DAPs: When will Australia Jump on Board?’ (2011) 27(1) Building and Construction Law Journal 4-29.

Brennan Ong and Paula Gerber ‘Dispute Boards: Is there a Role for Lawyers?’ (2010) 5(4) Construction Law International 7-12.

Paula Gerber ‘The Teaching of Construction Law and the Practice of Construction Law: Never the Twain shall Meet?’ (2010) 20(1 & 2) Legal Education Review 59-84.

Paula Gerber ‘How to Stop Engineers from Becoming Bush Lawyers’: The Art of Teaching Law to Engineering and Construction Students’ (2009) 1(4) Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction 1-10.

Gerber, Paula ‘Construction Law and Human Rights: Building a Bridge Between Two Disciplines’ (2006) 80(8) Law Institute Journal 48-51.

Paula Gerber and Bevan Mailman ‘Construction Litigation: Can we do it Better?’ (2005) 31(2) Monash University Law Review 237-257.

Non-peer Reviewed Articles

Matthew Bell and Paula Gerber ‘Passing on the Torch of Learning in the “Primordial Soup” of Construction Law: Reflections from the Construction Law Academic Forum 2012’ (2012) 7(3) Construction Law International 26-30.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘DRBs Down Under: Ready for Take Off!’ (2012) DRBF Forum 1.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘DAPs: A flash in the Pan or here to Stay?’ (2011) 23 (8 & 9) Australian Construction Law Bulletin 122-129.

Paula Gerber and Brennan Ong ‘Watch out ADR & Arbitration – DAPs are moving in!’ (January 2012) ADR Reporter 26-33.

Videos

ABC of DRBs

What is Construction Law

Conference Papers

‘Building Bridges in the Classroom: A view from the Academy’ (Invited speaker with Matthew Bell) Society of Construction Law Australia Conference, Sydney.

‘Early Neutral Evaluation as a Tool in Resolving Construction Disputes’ Victorian Bar, Commercial Law Section, Melbourne.

‘Avoiding Disputes through the use of Dispute Boards’ Thomson Reuters Construction Law Masterclass, Melbourne.

‘Is there a Role for Lawyers on DRBs?’ Dispute Resolution Board Federation International Conference, Sydney.

‘Should we be incorporating DAPs into Australian standard form contracts?’ Society of Construction Law Conference, Brisbane.

‘Contracting for Dispute Avoidance’, Building and Construction Law Legalwise Seminar, Melbourne.

‘DRBs: When will Australia Join the Global Trend?’ at Dispute Resolution Boards: Lessons Learned Workshop, Sydney, NSW.

‘The Teaching of Construction Law and the Practice of Construction Law: Never the Twain shall meet?’ at Australasian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

DAPs – Coming to a Construction Contract Near You’, Mt Eliza, Victoria, February, 2009.

One comment on “Construction Law
  1. Love the post and I am so glad you are allowing us to comment! Professor Gerber would want to marry her practical construction law background with scholarly theoretical explorations of construction law, and in particular, the avoidance, management and resolution of construction disputes. Thanks for posting this information.

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